An ex-steelworker and Consett charity are setting up a crowdfunding campaign with hopes of commissioning a new Ray Lonsdale sculpture.

Ex-steelworker John Fox and charity, Building Self-Belief have begun their campaign to raise enough money to commission a sculpture to represent the history of Consett’s steel industry, to be created by the acclaimed North East artist.

Inspired by his statue of Tommy, at Seaham, John Fox hoped for a new steel sculpture in Consett, so he reached out to Consett councillors and groups to help kickstart a campaign.

The Northern Echo: Ray Lonsdale, the artist behind Seaham’s iconic ‘Tommy the soldier’ statue has created a

John was then joined by Christine Thomas from Building Self-Belief CIO, who agreed to help.

Building Self-Belief is a Consett-based charity that has previously worked on a Consett Heritage Project, giving the charity extensive knowledge of the history of the steelworks.

John Fox and Building Self-Belief Chief Executive Christine Thomas have also visited Mr Lonsdale in his at his workshop in Hetton, to discuss the potential for a Consett statue to represent the history and spirit of Consett Steel.

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Now, their campaign has officially kickstarted with a Crowd Fund as a way for the people of Consett, and anyone who has strong links with the town, to contribute to raising money for the statue.

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Aware that the process of raising the funds may take a while, the fund has been set up to make a start to have a statue in the town as soon as possible.

The campaign also plans to hold a public consultation about how the statue will look, and where it will be located once the funds have all been raised.

Christine Thomas said: “As a charity, we have produced some fabulous work as part of our Consett Heritage Project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“We see this project as an extension of our work with the community and think such a statute would be a huge asset for the town.

“A statue made of steel is the perfect symbol and commemoration for the town of Consett.

“It would represent the community of the past, celebrate the product itself, and serve as a long-term reminder of our town's heritage for the current and future population of the town of Consett."

To help fund raising the Consett steel sculpture by Mr Lonsdale visit the Crowd Fund website - here